Kevin - Another ROMAC Success Story
Submitted by Liz
Kevin, born in 2004, was a normal healthy active child growing up in a rural area in the New Britain Province on the island if Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. The youngest of seven children to Paul and Veronica, the family owned land on which they grew crops for the markets among other enterprises. Their community, Toma, is one hour inland from Kokopo, the island's main town and commercial centre.
Life was simple for Kevin. There was no electricity or running water and from an early age he was required to chop the firewood each day to fuel the oven. Other chores involved pollinating crops and tending nursery plants and making and selling ice blocks.
He was very enterprising and diligent at school, attended the local Catholic Church every week with the family, and even played the music for services by the time he was 12. But this idyllic life was about to change.
At about age 11 in 2015 Kevin started experiencing dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, nose bleeds and hearing loss. His nose was so blocked he couldn't breathe through it. Even eating was difficult. Eventually he was diagnosed with a juvenile angiofibroma - a relatively rare condition which only occurs in teenage boys, where a growth develops between the eyes and spreads within the skull.
Eventually, in January 2018, Kevin and Veronica flew to Port Moresby seeking treatment. Without beds available at the Hospital the pair slept on an open veranda on the deck for six months. The growth had become too advanced to be treated locally and the family was referred to ROMAC (Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children).
Finding a surgical team willing to take on Kevin's advanced case was not easy, but two Auckland Surgeons Dr Peter Hepner and Dr Richard Douglas said "we do difficult, bring it on", so ROMAC NZ did just that.
NOTE: the full PDF of this wonderful story, including the challenges and successes achieved, will be emailed out shortly.
Club Chat Publisher